The number of policemen killed by armed robbers who invaded a bank in Ijero Ekiti in Ekiti State on Monday has risen from the initial two to three.
This is coming just as the state police command expressed sadness over tragic loss of the three officers, vowing to track down the hoodlums wherever they may have escaped to.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the command, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, who gave an update on the incident, said his men had already recovered a vehicle reportedly stolen by the bandits during the robbery.
The robbers had swooped on the town at about 6:00 p.m. on Monday in an ambulance, pretending to be medical officers, to beat security checks on the roads. They first attacked the police station in the town, after which they headed for their target bank where they blew the security door with explosive materials.
The ambulance vehicle conveying the robbers was laced with a coffin carrying large cache of rifles. They were allegedly killed the policemen both at the police station and within the premises of the bank.
According to Ikechukwu, the families of the deceased would be contacted before publicly revealing their identities. The police spokesman expressed sadness over the rampant bank robbery cases in recent time, and urged the public to always be security conscious and provide the command with timely information that could help to prevent attacks on people and institutions in the state.
“We are contacting their families to express our grief over the death. The police will not be deterred or shy away from the responsibility of protecting the lives and property of the people, no matter what
“Our men are working assiduously to track down the bandits and bring them to justice no matter how far they run. We are also stepping up our intelligence gathering mechanism with the public and other sister agencies to ensure that Ekiti is safe, especially during coming yuletide season.
“We have already recovered a Toyota Car that was stolen by the bandits during the robbery on Monday. The bandits abandoned the vehicle along Aramoko Ekiti-Ijero Ekiti road and fled into the bush upon realising that the police were closing in on them.
“We are not stopping at that, our men from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) and Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) are combing the bush. We are chasing them and the long arm of the law shall catch up with them in no time.
“We are particularly pleased because the members of the pubic are cooperating. They are giving us useful information that will automatically help us in tracking down the robbers,” Ikechukwu said.